Comment Is Free But Facts Are Sacred Makes A Correction

Sunday, March 14, 2009 published a CiF article by Kent Miller: The real agony of autism. It contained a common error about the MMR vaccine and mercury (UK thiomersal, US thimerosal):

A special US court overseeing a vaccination-liability fund recently ruled that the parents of an autistic girl, Michelle Cedillo, won’t get any money from it. The judge put a pretty firm kibosh on the argument that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine – or its mercury preservative, thimerosal – had caused Michelle’s disability.

Now, we have been round this topic with both the Guardian and The Observer on previous occasions.

The MMR vaccine does not, and never has, contain(ed) mercury preservative (thimerosal, thiomersal) because it is a live vaccine, a preservative would kill the relevant parts of the vaccine.

The one positive part of this story is that last time, it took us 5-6 weeks to persuade the Guardian and The Observer to issue a correction of this nature. This time, a correction appeared within 15 hours, even if they did not make it explicit. The contentious text now reads:

The judge put a pretty firm kibosh on the argument that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine – or the mercury preservative, thimerosal – had caused Michelle’s disability. [Our emphasis.]

A subtle change but a very important one.

So, congratulations to CiF for correcting this with comparative celerity.

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5 Comments

Filed under Current events

5 responses to “Comment Is Free But Facts Are Sacred Makes A Correction

  1. Wulfstan

    I couldn’t tell you the last time that I heard someone congratulated for their “comparative celerity”.

    Anyway – huzzah for CiF and the learning curve of Guardian and Observer (I think).

    Would it be worth their while putting together a FPE file to consult the next time there is a story about vaccines, MMR, autism and similar? (FPE – frequently published errors.)

    • Interesting idea. The Guardian effectively lists some frequent errors in their Style Guide – but I wonder if something focusing more on fact-based, rather than stylistic, errors would be useful?

  2. Dulcinea

    It’s good that they corrected it but they should have mentioned it in the article history.

  3. wake up

    Court Again Concedes Vaccines Cause Autism

    In a recent Huffington Post exclusive, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and investigative journalist David Kirby reveal that in the recent case of Bailey Banks vs HHS, the Vaccine Court has ruled vaccines caused Bailey’s autism and ordered compensation for his family.

    Banks is the second case where the government could not deny the overwhelming evidence showing vaccines caused a child’s autism. The first was the case of Hannah Poling in March 2008. The government conceded the case and awarded her family compensation.

    Small victories for these children, but what about the hundreds of thousands of other families struggling with autism? Who and what can they believe in this continuing vaccine-autism controversy?

    Congress, at the urging of the pharmaceutical industry, created the mysterious Vaccine Court in1986, which has not only protected vaccine makers from liability but also led to a tripling in the number of vaccines given to our children.

    Why does the Vaccine Court exist? Why are the rulings in favor of the children being suppressed? Where is the justice for these parents?

    In this new era of government accountability and transparency, the one in 64 American families dealing with autism deserve more.
    It’s time the government told the truth about childhood vaccines.

    For more information, please see our Press Release.

    For a complete copy of the Vaccine Court’s ruling in Banks vs HHS, check out the Age of Autism blog: http://www.ageofautism.com

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